Lord Bramall, a UK former armed forces chief dubbed a "war hero", has launched a serious attack against London's Metropolitan Police Service (Met for short, aka Scotland Yard) for "failing to speak to witnesses who cast doubt on the claims made 10 months earlier by an alleged abuse victim called Nick".
Almost a year ago the 92-year-old was accused by a single witness, a man in his 40s known as "Nick", who alleged that he had been abused as a boy by a powerful "VIP paedophile ring" (as it came to be called), which included Lord Bramall, former (and late) UK prime minister Ted Heath and the late former Tory MP Harvey Proctor. Among the accusations was that he had raped and tortured young boys in the 1970s.
Bramall was immediately subjected to a heavy-handed police investigation which included a 10-hour raid on his home in Surrey, in the south-east of England. Among other things, Lord Bramall aims to challenge the legality of the search warrant on his property, questioning if the police followed the letter of the law in obtaining the warrant.
The former army chief has always denied the allegations, saying: "I know I have only had sex with someone other than my own sex" and calling any suggestion he was involved in child abuse "absolutely a load of rubbish."
The D-Day veteran criticised a senior police officer named Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald for having appealed for boys who might have been abused to come forward, adding that, if people who had been abused came forward, "we will believe you". Lord Bramall correctly commented that it was not the police's role to accept allegations as true, but the prosecutors' task to prove them.
"We will believe you" seems to me a remark more suitable to a counsellor or psychotherapist than to a policeman. Empathy is required from the former, investigation from the latter. What happened to innocent until proven guilty?
The claims against Lord Bramall were part of "Nick"'s allegations, under investigation by the Met, of having been abused by prominent men in the military, politics and law enforcement.
Despite what Det Supt McDonald said, that the police regarded the allegations as "credible and true", Bramall has recently been told that he faces no further action as "following a thorough investigation officers have concluded there is insufficient evidence to charge him with any offence.
Yesterday the ex-director of public prosecutions Lord Kenneth Macdonald (not to be confused with the officer MacDonald quoted above) criticised the new police stance of “we believe the victim”, adding that it could lead to miscarriages of justice and that police had got the balance wrong. He said officers risked being “manipulated by fantasists”.
In an interview with Radio 4’s Today programme he commented: “The worst miscarriages of justice I have seen have resulted from blinkered investigations in which police have believed a theory at the start of the case and gone on to try to prove that theory. We need the police to conduct impartial, objective and professional investigations.”
This is at the end of about a year in which the peer had to live under suspicion of one the most despised crimes. Isn't a man whose reputation has been damaged a victim too? Quite unprecedented, even the Queen expressed her support for the ex army-chief.
The investigating detectives failed their duty when they did not interview key witnesses for 11 months and did not check some of the case's most basic facts for over 5 months.
A lot can be said about this, which is unfortunately similar to many other cases.
But I want to trace it back to where it all started on a big scale: this modern form of persecution dates back to the time when the mostly Left-wing mainstream media had a field day with the so-called "Catholic Church abuse scandal".
Just to see how politically self-serving in order to settle old scores with ideological enemies the furore was, and how absolutely nothing this fake self-righteousness had to do with concern about children, one has to observe the total silence and absence of outrage at the allegations of abuse by politicians and entertainment industry members (or anybody unconnected with the Church) of those professional anti-Christians like Richard Dawkins and Peter Tatchell who so vociferously, venomously and unjustifiably called for the arrest of Pope Benedict XVI when he visited Britain in 2010 (see picture above).
For some reason, sexual offences have such a powerful emotional impact that, unlike criminal claims of other nature (like robbery or embezzlement), whenever accusations of sexual misconduct are made there is a presumption of guilt, when in fact there should always be - both legally and morally - a presumption of innocence until proof of guilt is provided.
The onus of the proof is on the accuser.
From the mere claim of an accuser (who may have all kinds of motivations and personal problems) to the evidence of guilt there is a vast distance, similar to that between saying and doing, speculating and demonstrating, fantasy and reality.
The so-called "sex abuse scandal" of the Church has been largely a political campaign by the mainstream media, whose journalists are mostly on the far-Left, anti-clerical and atheists with a vengeance. There were plenty of episodes of false and misleading headlines which were plainly contradicted by the article below, if anyone bothered to read it.
The fact that the Church in many cases chose out-of-court settlements was seen as an admission of guilt instead of, as it should have been seen, as a sign of the Church's desire not to be dragged into a shameful headline war by a hostile media establishment, which thrived on court cases.
Since then, some people have realised that making allegations of sexual abuse (no matter how well or, rather, badly founded) was a way to win money infinitely more reliable than by buying a lottery ticket.
And so the ball of paedophilia or rape charges against men in the public sphere, preferably rich and famous, have kept rolling.
The historic abuse charges are the best because, in the absence of physical evidence after decades, mere acquaintance with a celebrity or politician may be enough to jump on the bandwagon, or even better the gravy train.
By www.CGPGrey.com, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11534384